2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims from the Labor Department and the Consumer Price Index. Both reports are scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists forecast an increase in jobless claims to 355,000 from 341,000 the prior week, according to Reuters. The National Association of Realtors is expected to issue its January existing home sales report at 10 a.m. The leading economic indicators report, released by the Conference Board, also is due at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday posted deep losses after the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January meeting suggested many officials are open to changing the central bank's stimulus program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 108 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 13,928. The S&P 500 fell 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,512. Nasdaq was off 49 points, or 1.5%, to end at 3,164.
4. -- Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT), the world's biggest retailer, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share on revenue of $128.85 billion. Analysts expect Wal-Mart's namesake U.S. business to post a same-store sales increase of 1.4% in the quarter. Last year, Wal-Mart earned $1.45 a share on net sales of $122.47 billion.
5. -- Personal computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) is forecast to have earned 71 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter on revenue of $27.79 billion.
6. -- Tesla Motors' ( TSLA) fourth-quarter earnings were mixed, with revenue beating Wall Street estimates but losses coming in wider than expected. In the first quarter, Tesla said it expects to be "slightly positive net income, on a non-GAAP basis. We also expect to be near breakeven on cash flow from operations."
7. -- Boeing ( BA) is expected to launch on Friday a formal plan to get its grounded Dreamliner back into service , The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the details.
8. -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama in Washington on Friday, hoping to strengthen the strong alliance of the two countries.
9. -- Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, down from year-earlier profit of 58 cents a share.
10. -- New York Times ( NYT) said Wednesday it's putting the Boston Globe up for sale for a second time.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.